Assessment: The UN created UNRWA in 1949 to support the Palestinian demand of the right of return of 5 million Arabs who were encouraged by Arab leaders to leave their homes and flee before the war of Independence. Historically, a refugee is someone forced to leave a permanent or habitual home.
To help the Arabs regain those homes after the war, UNRWA changed the definition of ancestral home to 2 year occupancy, and changed the definition of refugee for Palestinian Arabs only.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday announced $50 million in new funding for a UN agency that is dedicated solely to the descendants of Palestinian refugees and which has been widely denounced for propagating antisemitism, eliciting rebuke from a top Senate Republican.
Speaking in Ramallah alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Blinken said that the money, alongside the $890 million the Biden administration has already provided to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) in the past two years, was intended to “rebuild” the relationship between the US and the Palestinian Authority.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the Lord will have indignation forever.” Malachi 1:4
All of these steps are part of the longer term ambition to re-establish, but then not just re-establish, rebuild our relationship, as I said, with the Palestinian people and with the Palestinian Authority,” Blinken said. “And this will allow us to more effectively work toward the goal of Palestinians and Israelis enjoying equal measures of democracy, of opportunity, of dignity in their lives. We believe that that can be achieved by a realization of two states. President Biden remains committed to that goal.”
Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, slammed the move Wednesday.
“The Biden Administration is far too eager to give out US taxpayer dollars to UNRWA,” Risch told The Algemeiner. “I do not support a single US taxpayer dollar going to UNRWA without serious reform, in part because their textbooks continue time and again to include antisemitic content. That is why I will be re-introducing my UNRWA Accountability & Transparency Act which would halt funding to UNRWA until all of its antisemitic issues are thoroughly addressed.”
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